In order to be a presenter you have to have an audience and in order to have an effective presentation you have to have an audience that listens to the message you are delivering. It is the job of the speaker, not the listener, to make a presentation easy and comfortable to listen to. There are two critical components to speech that can make or break you in the listening department—they are pace and the proper use of pauses.
The Critical P's—Pace and Pause
Here’s Looking at You Kid
Eye contact is one of the fastest ways to build rapport with an audience and yet I am always amazed when I hear a workshop participant tell me that they have been told to look at the person’s forehead or above their head or to imagine they are naked or a baby. Not only do these techniques not work, they will actually have you as the presenter becoming more nervous. Making eye contact with someone is about making a connection. It is about seeing the person and knowing the person has seen you. You can’t build rapport with someone who is looking at your forehead or above your head and you can’t stay focused on them if you are imagining them as naked or a baby. You need to be looking right into their eyes to build rapport.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) - An Easy, Effective Way to Eliminate Nerves for Good
Back in the late 90's Jack Canfield introduced me to a very interesting and effective technique to eliminate fear and trauma called the Callahan method. This was later called Emotional Freedom Technique or (EFT). I used it to eliminate a lot of my own fears. It’s easy to learn, has profound effects and the individual can do it for themselves with or without the help of a facilitator.
It is not your PowerPoint slide filled with data, or your precision with the white board or flip chart that are your best visual aids. Your best visual aid is YOU! Studies have proven that gestures and facial expressions significantly help the audience understand the message being delivered. In a study conducted by The University of Chicago, they found that by not using gestures you run the risk of your audience missing large chunks of your presentation. The same study found that “…Gesture is a hand movement that is as much a part of language as speech.” So the question is not whether you should gesture or not but how do you gesture effectively?